Monday, May 23, 2011

Obama and Israel

Like so many Americans, President Obama is either ignorant of the harsh realities of the Middle East, or is naïve (or maybe both). Those who call for Israel to give up land to the Palestinians remind me of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain agreeing to give land to Hitler so there will be “peace in our time.” Appeasement didn’t work, and the result was World War II.

Obama and other (mostly) liberals seem to have no understanding of several facts:

(1) Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and various Arab terrorist organizations have one aim: to wipe Israel off the map. They believe Israel has no right to exist. No amount of appeasement will change that fact. All appeasement will do is get the Palestinians and Arab terrorist organizations closer to their goal of “pushing Israel into the sea.”

(2) Israel was established by the United Nations and is recognized as a legitimate nation by many countries. The U.S. was either first or one of the first to recognize the newborn nation in 1948.

(3) There was never a “Palestinian people” or Palestinian nation. There is a geographical area of the Middle East called Palestine (named that by the Romans meaning “Land of the Philistines”), but the concept of a Palestinian people is a modern invention. When Jews started settling in Palestine in the 1800s, there were a few Arabs living there. The Jewish settlers purchased what was considered relatively useless land from these Arabs, often at inflated prices, and built farms and cities. The area prospered, and now the Arabs want it.

Under the British mandate (between WWI and WWII), anti-Semitic forces in the British government invited Arabs from neighboring countries to settle in Palestine, and they did. There are Arabs from Iraq, Syria, and other places who have formed what has come to be called the “Palestinian people.”

In 1948 the Jewish nation of Israel was formed, and the Arab nation for Jordan was formed. Palestinian Arabs were to live in Jordan if they cared to move out of the Jewish territory. Without going into the history of how the Arab nations used their Palestinian Arab brethren as tools in their effort to get rid of Israel, these “Palestinians” were moved into settlement camps rather than being allowed to settle in Jordan and live a normal life as was the UN’s plan.

(4) Israel has already made considerable concessions over the years in an effort to bring about peace. They uprooted Israeli settlements and gave land to the Palestinians. And what did Israel get in return? Rockets fired daily into their country by Palestinian terrorists.

To understand this, how long do you think an American president would put up with Mexican terrorists lobbing rockets daily across the border from Tijuana into San Diego? Would the president decide to cede southern California back to Mexico to stop the rocket attacks on U.S. citizens? I don’t think so. Why should we then ask Israel to give more land to those whose sole aim is to eliminate Israel from the map?

(5) The Arabs claim Jerusalem is a holy city to them, and they want control of it. However, it was the Jews’ primary holy city long before Islam came into existence. Moreover, when the Arabs controlled it, they didn’t allow the Jews access to their holy places. It is ridiculous to claim that Jerusalem should belong to the Arabs just because the Prophet Mohammad had a dream or vision that involved Jerusalem.

(6) Being a large country, we don’t have a concept of how small and vulnerable Israel is. Amman is very close to Jerusalem and Damascus isn’t very far from northern Israel. President Obama’s opinion that Israel should go back to its pre-1967 borders is ludicrous. First, they are indefensible borders given the geography of the region. Second, the Arabs started the 1967 war by attacking Israel, and Israel won some land in pushing the Arab forces back. Asking them to give up that land is like asking the U.S. to return Puerto Rico to Spain.

If they take the time to understand the recent history of the region and the driving goal of the Arabs, President Obama and other government officials will then be able to make more informed decisions. Obviously they haven’t taken the time and so Obama has ended up being a negotiator for the Palestinians and is placing Israel, our only ally in the Middle East, in serious jeopardy.

Let us, both Jews and Christians, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

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